Time to Lose, 90 Days Exercise

Hi again to you!

As I am in the middle of my 11th week of the weight loss journey, I realized that I haven’t been making any progress the last two weeks.  That is why I haven’t been posting any blogs. Also, my son and I have both been sick so there wasn’t much to share on this journey.

My food intake has been quite a bit better over the past month. Well, except for while I have been sick.  That is always a challenge!  But the better choices seem to be getting easier and much more routine!  So that is good.

But, I realized that I am getting nowhere fast on the exercise front.  And, that is what really needs my attention.

So, I have decided that starting April 1st, I am going to start 90 days of exercise.  I have added a new page to this blog in order to track what I do each day.

Nothing like being accountable to yourself and others to get you motivated!

I so need to do this for my own health.  I hope to make this a new habit. By scheduling it each day, I think that it will truly happen.

I am waiting until the 1st of April because I want to get over as much of the sinus infection as I can and be ready to go with the exercise.  I will probably start out slowly and then increase my time as I go.

Please share with me your journey as well.  Let’s be a support system to each other!!

I wonder if I can truly do this.  I will take it one day at a time and hope to see major changes!

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The Circle of Life

The last two weeks have been so not fun for Ian and me.  We have been sick — he with a cold and me with a sinus infection.

Needless to say the early spring was really rough on both of us.  With pollen being three times higher than usual (and even more than that), we both felt it when we went outside. There was green pollen everywhere — all over the cars and flying around in the air.

As I have been feeling so cruddy, I have had a lot of time to think and to pray. And I have come to realize how precious and short our life here is.  And, I want to make the most of every one of the 1,440 minutes in a day.

This week a dear friend at the church passed away.  She was 92 years old.  This lady was one of the pillars of the church and had been there for many, many years.  Her husband who passed away several years ago was as impressive a person and someone who also was a real pleasure to know.

Her name is Marlys and she always wanted to give a hug to her “kids and grandkids” at the church.  Several times she mentioned how well-behaved Ian was during the service.  That was always a nice thing to hear.  She will truly be missed.

I was not able to attend her funeral but understand that it was a wonderful celebration of her life with many dear friends and family in attendance.  The comfort is knowing that she is now with the Lord and is no longer in the pain that she had been in.

I hope that I too can have a long life like this and continue to help and comfort others.  I know several people now in real pain and dealing with many major life issues — either with their health or with their relationships.   I keep them in my prayers each day — asking for God’s mercies and love for them.  And, I also try to listen or help them in what they need.

It is interesting to think about the end of the one’s life and also the beginning of other’s lives.  My niece turned 12 years old yesterday.  I remember the year she was born and how beautiful she was.  She still is and is now a very interesting and multi-talented young lady – loves soccer and is very good on the violin. She is truly a blessing.

All of my nieces and nephews are very special and have been so wonderful to know and spend time with.  Each time I see them, there is something new and interesting in their lives. What a blessing and they helped prepare me for my own child.

It is amazing how quickly they have grown up — right before my eyes.  Life truly has flown by.  I try to remember each day to savor the time so life doesn’t pass me by.

And, I too have been fascinated watching Ian as he has been growing.  He has his entire life ahead of him and so many amazing things to learn, accomplish, and experience.  I am excited that I get to have a front row seat on this journey. My husband and I and our family are truly blessed.

This week he has improved in writing his name, has drawn some more amazing pictures, told me as we were talking about rhymes that “permit and Kermit” rhyme, and continues to figure out more and more new things.

Also, this week I have thought about the verses in Ecclesiastes 3:

  1. To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  7. A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

These words are true and very profound. I hope as people come and go in our lives that we can remember these words of scripture and enjoy and remember the times that we have with them.  There truly is a circle of life.

I wonder if we can realize how true this is.  I hope and pray that we can!

Happy Spring!!

Hope you are enjoying this first day of Spring!

Although it feels like summer and the pollen is driving me crazy, I do have to say that I really do like Spring.

Seeing new life spring out of trees and plants that were dormant over the winter is really nice.  And, hearing the birds chirp in the morning, having more light at the end of the day, and seeing the animals again is great as well.

And, I love the chance to walk around our neighborhood and play in the yard or dig out the weeds.

Here are a few quotes about spring:

  • “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”  ~Margaret Atwood (On Sunday, Ian and I did smell like dirt and had it everywhere — what fun!)
  • “Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!””  ~Robin Williams
  • “Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”… “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” — by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
  • “Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?” – Nelti Blanchan

I wonder if we can enjoy the wonder of spring as we move into the next week.  I hope so!

Happy Monday

Hi and hope you are having a great Monday!

Why is that Monday’s always seem to get a bad rap?  I guess because it’s the first day of the school and work weeks.

Maybe some weeks we’d rather be at home than have to get out and get back into that routine again.  Who knows?

I try to look at Monday as the start of another week of possibilities.  We can learn new things at work or school, can try new recipes for dinner, or plan all of the activities for the upcoming week.  We can also have fun with our friends and family!

Today is the last day of winter so that is something to celebrate.  Spring begins tomorrow!  Yeah! New life and beautiful colors are back on the plants and trees!

My allergies, however, do not like all of the flowers that are blooming, the trees that are budding and the grass and weeds that are growing like crazy.

Yesterday, Ian and I worked in the yard pulling weeds.  We got quite a few out of the flower beds but there are still more to pull another day.  I will have to get the spray to help kill some of them.  Then we’ll have to do the pulling again next week, and the next.

This week, however, actually feels more like summer where I live.  Not that I am complaining, mind you.  But I am not quite prepared for that heat of summer yet.

Last week was strange in that places in Kansas, Michigan, Illinois, and Tennessee were warmer than California.  That is backwards from what you’d expect.

And, many records were broken with high temperatures.  With that, though came lots of thunderstorms and some tornadoes.

You never know what mother nature has in store.  All we can do is appreciate each day as it comes since we have no idea about tomorrow.

I wonder if we can make the most of our Monday and enjoy it?  I know I am going to try to do just that!  Have a good one.

Salt Water

This morning I was reminded about a great quote on salt water.

“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea” – by Isak Dinesen.

There is a lot of truth in this.

Sweat has to do with exercise and working hard on physical activities.  A job well done is important and it is good for our health to break a sweat each day.

I have found that I need to sweat more than I do.  As you know, I am on a weight loss quest.  It is going well with the eating but more exercise and sweating is an important factor as well.

I truly am working on exercising each and every day.  The exercise helps with stress, helps me feel better physically, and helps me feel that I am doing something good for myself and teaching our son healthy habits.

Tears can be shed when you are sad, frustrated, devastated and even happy.  I have cried happy tears as well as very sad.   Happy in the joy of seeing my son accomplish something for the first time or telling me how much he loves me.  Or when a friend gave me a very special photograph of Ian when this friend first met him at 9 months old.

I have also cried over sick family and friends or when I found out that a dear friend of our family passed away yesterday.  Our friend Marlys lived a very long and wonderful life, and there is comfort in knowing that she is now with the Lord in Heaven!

Shedding tears is nothing to be ashamed of and in fact, can be very comforting and soothing.  In the Bible, it says, “Jesus wept.” This is one of the shortest verses in the Bible and quite profound, I think. As a site I came across mentioned, it shows our Lord as a friend and shows that He was a loving man.

The Sea.  Ah, the sea or ocean.  I absolutely love the ocean and the ebb and flow of the waves.

I have been blessed to go to the beach many, many times in my life.  Each time is truly special and something to be excited about and cherished.

For me, there is almost a rejuvenation or healing power to the ocean.  When I look at the ocean, I feel more calm and more relaxed. In addition, I feel small and humbled and am in awe of the Lord’s creation.

If is fun to swim in the ocean and taste some of that salt water.  I also like looking for shells and taking tons of photos at the water’s edge.

I have also found that salt water helps when I don’t feel good.  Having saline water pumped in your nose or gargling it isn’t pleasant but certainly does seem to help with the sinus pressure and discomfort.

All in all, I do think that salt water is pretty amazing — as is regular water.

I wonder if we could live without these waters?  I think it might be difficult.

Please share your thoughts as well. I would enjoy hearing from you.

The Power of Books

This morning I finished a really good book by an author who I have enjoyed for a while now — Jane Green.

It was called “Promises To Keep” and without giving away the story, it is one that will make you think and truly appreciate your loved ones and how truly precious and short life is.

When I picked it up I didn’t realize the true subject of the book as it is deep in the story where you find out a main and loved character is very ill.

I have several friends who are ill right now and I couldn’t help but think about them and shed a few tears as I was reading the end of the book.  As I closed the book, I said prayers for my friends and asked for the Lord to pour out His love and mercy to them.  And, I prayed for their families as well.

Isn’t it something how much a work of fiction can affect us?  In either a good way or a bad way. We can lose ourselves in another world and truly come to love the characters we are reading about.

Then when you finish the book, you want to read more and not let those characters go.  You want to continue to go on their journey. That is how I have felt today with that book I finished.  I didn’t want it to end yet I knew that it would.

That to me is the sign of a great story.  There are many kinds that I like — chick lit, mysteries, stories about Amish people, police stories, romances, and many others.

Another book by Jane Green that I really liked is “Jemima J.” I have read this book three times. The book is about ugly ducklings and swans and the main character trying to lose weight (something I can truly relate to).  Jemima is a great girl who you can’t help rooting for and hoping that she will succeed. I imagine I will be reading about her once again.

I also like several other authors a lot and have read many of their books — Carol Higgins Clark writes wonderful mysteries as does her mother, Mary Higgins Clark.  And, I also really have enjoyed Danielle Steel for several years and recently discovered Michael Connelly.

I still remember one of my favorite books when I was a girl, “The Secret Garden.” This is the first book that I really remember enjoying and getting totally swept into. I want to re-read it and see if it holds any of the magic that it used to.

My favorite book series growing up were the “Little House on the Prairie” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis.  These were two very distinctive and very different worlds that I was transported into.  I imagined the lives of the characters and wanted to be there with them.

Most of my family loves to read and we like a wide variety.  I am glad of that and enjoy talking to them about a story that was one that they couldn’t put down. Reading books is something to celebrate, in my opinion.

My son Ian has loved books for a while and is now in the early stages of reading.  We regularly go to our city’s library and check out 15 to 20 books at a time for him.  He grins and enjoys each story. I truly love seeing him light up when we read him a story and he later goes back and reads it to himself.

Recently, he has discovered Dr. Seuss.  We have “The Foot Book” and the ABC book as well.  He really likes both of those and recently quoted from The Foot Book.

I hope to write a few books one of these days.  I really want to write a children’s book or book series and will chat with Ian and my nieces and nephews about some ideas.

One idea is in the back of my mind, however, and has been for years.  My grandfather told us stories for many years about a few characters.  I want to compile these into stories for my family. Maybe this year I can work on that. I just need to see what they remember so we can get them recorded on paper before we all forget them.

I am also toying with the idea of writing either a short story or a novel.  I have a story already started and will see where it takes me. I will keep you posted on the progress of this endeavor.

I would love to hear about the books that you enjoy reading.  Please share with us the ones that really spoke to you.

I wonder if I can write as interesting a book as I enjoy reading.  I am going to try, that’s for sure.  Happy reading!!

What is a hero?

There have been two articles recently about people who the media are calling heroes in the midst of unimaginable tragedy.  Yet neither of them is calling themselves a hero.

That to me is amazing — as are they.

First was the assistant coach of a football team at a school in Ohio.  He helped students during a school shooting.  He truly risked his safety to help the students and helped during an event that could have gone a lot worse.

But, when talking to the media, he said no, he’s not a hero.  He added that he wished he could have done more.

Wow, humility and wishing to do more when you already have done so much!  What a gentleman.

And, then there is the mother who lost parts of both of her legs while protecting her children during a tornado that destroyed her house.   Knowing a tornado was coming directly at her house, this amazing lady wrapped her son and daughter in a blanket, then put her body over them to protect them.

She was interviewed this morning on the “Today Show.”  She said, I am not a hero, I am a mom. She explained that what she did was instinct and like a mother bear protecting her cubs.

Again, wow!  This woman is so humble and now injured and her entire life changed, but she feels blessed since her children and she and her husband are all alive.

Both of these stories brought me to tears and stirred emotion.  Yet they were also so compelling since neither person thought what they did was heroic.  What amazing people!

Too often I think we praise people for the wrong things and celebrate behavior that really isn’t very heroic at all.  Stars of all kinds are called heroes and love to bask in their glory. Yet, is what they do truly a heroic thing?

Isn’t it refreshing to hear of people who aren’t basking but instead saying, I should have done more, and this was an instinctual thing that was done? I think it is.  And, I think that these people and the many more like them should be praised and celebrated as people that we can truly learn from on how to behave.

Merriam-Webster defines a hero as “a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities and “one who shows great courage.”

To me, both of these people showed great courage, as many others so.  For example, this is the same as soldiers do when they are in a foreign land fighting for our freedoms;

  • Or as a fireman does while running into a burning building to see if anyone has survived and then to help them in and run back in to fight the fire;
  • Or as a policeman going to work each day not knowing what dangerous or troubled people he or she will be called on to assist;
  • Or as a doctor traveling to a dangerous country to help someone in need;
  • Or as a missionary and/or the Red Cross going to a country that is dealing with a natural disaster to witness and help clean up the mess;
  • Or as passengers on an airplane that decide to crash it instead of letting it land somewhere where more destruction can be done;.
  • Or as a spouse caring for their dying loved one and supporting them the entire time throughout that journey and the person dealing with the prospect of dying and leaving behind those most cared about.

There are many more examples of being a hero and of showing courage.  Those are just a few.  I’d love to hear from you and know your thoughts.  Please comment and share them.

I wonder if we can live as these heroes and show great courage? It is certainly something to emulate.

Time to Lose, Etc.

Time to Lose Week 8

Yet another week has come and gone with the weight loss adventure.

The exercising didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but there is good news. I lost 2 pounds because of better food choices.  YEAH!  It truly is a combination of the two but quite a bit from healthy foods.

In each meal, I am eating either fruits or veggies and am having protein as well. That seems to be making a good difference.  I still, however, have a major appetite and am not sure when that will change.  Hopefully soon, so I am trying to fill up on healthier options – plums, pears, oranges, green salad, corn on the cob, etc.

This morning I tried on a dress that I haven’t worn in a while.  It seems to fit better than it has in recent months.  My shape seems to be improving and that is really nice.

I have to remember that weight loss isn’t all about the scale — but also about how clothes fit and how you feel.  These items are improving and I am very thankful.

There are still plenty of items to work on but each week it’s getting easier!  I still like the occasional really good hamburger with for example, Cali Cobb toppings (blue cheese, bacon, and avocado) and thin-cut fries.  This was a recent meal I enjoyed at a restaurant and it was delicious and the best hamburger I’ve had in ages.

And, I now like dark chocolate which is supposed to be better for you.  My favorite is Ghirardelli dark with mint.  I have learned that when I do want a splurge, it is going to be something I really like and will really enjoy the taste of.  I am not wasting my calories anymore on a so-so tasting item.

Here is to another week that more will be lost and more will be learned. Cheers!!

Etc.

**I have to say how glad I am that it is Friday.  It will be a busy weekend, but I still enjoy the different routine to a Saturday and a Sunday than the other 5 days of the week. Being able to sleep in a little bit on Saturday morning is a treat, as well as a special breakfast or event for the day. And going to church is the highlight for Sunday as well as lunch with the family and then a lazy afternoon.

*And, I have to say Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss.  He is one of the best children’s authors ever.  I have liked his books for many years. And, now I am so thankful that Ian is enjoying them too.  My grandmother recently gave him “The Foot Book.” Last night as he was going to bed, he quoted from this book.

I have to say that is the mark of a great book when a 4-year-old remembers the lines from it a week after it’s been read to him!!  I hope to write a children’s book one day and can only hope to aspire to a little of the genius of Dr. Seuss.

Hope you have a great week – no matter what you are doing!  I wonder if we can make the most of it and enjoy each and every day! Hope you will!